With shmitta year fast approaching here in Israel, a lot of people are talking about the significance of the number 7. Every seven years, we let the land rest; every seventh day, we celebrate Shabbat. There are seven days of sheva brachot (literally, 'seven blessings' after a couple gets married. The counting of the Omer occurs for seven weeks, etc etc.
Seven is a great number. But if you really want magic and miracles, then you need to go higher - to number 8. Eight is always above nature, which is one of the reasons we perform circumcisions on the eighth day, because under normal circumstances, there is no way on earth you'd get a Jewish mother to willingly let someone perform elective surgery on her newborn.
When it comes to the main energy centres in the body, (that have been measured and proven scientifically with electromagnetic instruments in laboratories, as well as techniques like Kirlian photography) - we also get to the magic number 8. Each energy centre is related to particular organs, energy meridians, thought processes and patterns, and emotions.
The next piece of the '8' puzzle is that Rav Arush teaches that each of us has eight deeper needs, which are:
4) Feeling significant / unique (what I usually refer to as 'the good point')
7) Love and relationships; and
Hold on, because this is where it's about to get really wild!
The picture t the beginning of the post is from a book by a Korean Professor called Jae Woo Park, who invented a new form of acupressure called 'Su Jok' - which is Korean for 'Hand and Foot'. G-d willing, I'll write more about Su Jok in another post, but its basic premise is that the whole body is mapped out on to the hand, and also on to the foot (the same premise underpins reflexology, and the Zohar also makes reference to this idea. But like I said, that's a post for another time.)
Amongst other things, Su Jok uses magnets, seeds and metal instruments to stimulate particular points on the hand and the feet, to kick-start the body's own innate healing ability. Weird as it sounds, there are reams and reams of material (mostly in Russian…) containing hundreds of clinical case studies showing that Su Jok really works.
For the purposes of this post, we just need to know that seeds contain so much life, so much energy, so much condensed G-d-given vitality, that when they are applied to particular points on the hand or foot, they can really catalyse some amazing healing processes.
OK, back to the deeper needs, and the eight energy centres, and how all this stuff actually fits together.
The notion that Jews are SOUL first, and body only second means that I'm always pondering the internal, inner, spiritual dimension of all the healing stuff, or the aromatherapy, or whatever else it is I happen to be learning. So I was playing around with the seeds a few months' ago, and the idea that they can strengthen a person's vitality and energy, when I got a brain wave to associate each physical 'energy centre' with a particular 'deeper need'.
I just used the same order that Rav Arush set out for the deeper needs, and then worked my way from the bottom, up. I used whole, red lentils as the 'strengthening seed', both because they were recommended for that purpose in the Su Jok Seed Therapy book, and also because it's really easy to see what's happening, as they crack in half if a person's energy happens to be depleted in a particular area. (See the picture at the bottom of the post).
The results have been consistently astounding on every single person I've tried it with. As one example, my 'gratitude' lentil was consistently cracking every single time I left it on over night, showing me that that particularly area was very depleted (the lentils crack in half when all the energy's been sucked out of them.)
Physically, the energy centre that corresponds with 'gratitude' is also the area that I've had the most physical problems and illnesses with over the last few years. Amazing.
So what did I do to address this?
I started reading a page of Rav Arush's 'Garden of Gratitude' every single day. I started three months ago, and this week, for the first time ever, my 'gratitude' lentil didn't crack overnight.
At the same time, nearly all my physical issues have cleared up in that area, and I'm feeling much more positive and grateful, despite all the challenges I'm currently up to my neck in.
Another example: for the two weeks after I moved, I felt completely and utterly wasted, both spiritually and physically, Consequently, every single seed in every single energy area cracked, and I realized I had to slow down, or risk getting seriously ill again, G-d forbid.
A last example: whenever I've had a big blow-out with my husband, or a stressful time with a child, or I'm struggling socially in some way, my 'love and relationships' seed cracks. And then, I realize just how upset I actually am about whatever is going on, and I go and pray on it, to ask G-d to help me resolve the situation.
Hashem is giving us messages all the time. Physically, the seed therapy is helping my body to kick-start its own innate healing process. Spiritually, G-d is using the seeds to show me exactly what area I need to work on, or what area is depleting me and causing me stress, so that I can go and pray on it. The body doesn't lie, which makes it much, much harder to fudge issues, or to cloud them by subjective thinking and pre-conceived ideas.
If you were really awake today, you'll have noticed that the above diagrams only shows seven energy centres. So where's number 8, corresponding to courage? In the next post, G-d willing, we'll talk about where that is on the hand, and why it's in a whole other spiritual dimension. Stay tuned…